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Hotel Dolce Sitges (Spain)

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Address: Av. Camí de Miralpeix 12 / Sitges 08870 / Spain / Tel: +34.938.109.000

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      23.04.2011 10:49
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      A real pleasure to stay at

      Late last October I headed over to Barcelona, well Sitges to be exact, for a weeklong meeting for work. Ordinarily such meetings can be a bit of a pain but on this occasion I was quite happy to be leaving the freezing cold temperatures of London behind and heading towards sunnier climes!

      **Getting to the hotel**

      The hotel is located in the seaside town of Sitges, located just 35 minutes out of Barcelona. I am a bit wary of travelling alone to places outside of main cities but getting to the hotel was surprisingly easy. From the airport I took the train one stop to El Prat de Llobregat where I changed trains and took one heading for Vilanova, getting off at Sitges station. The journey from the airport to Sitges took around 35 minutes which was not bad at all. From Sitges station I took a taxi to the hotel which is about a 6-8 minute drive away.

      **First Impressions**

      The hotel is perched on top of a hill overlooking the coastal town of Sitges. On arrival I entered a huge reception area with what I would describe as a simplistic and modern design. There were huge ornate vases and sculptures on display and lots of dark wood contrasted by cream painted walls. It looked very classy and professional. There were several members of staff at the huge reception desk and I was checked in quickly and efficiently. I found the staff to be polite, courteous and professional at all times but they didn't have that same friendliness that you get at smaller hotels which I usually stay at.

      I was given a card to my room, given directions on how to get there and details of when breakfast would be served. A concierge then came and offered to take my suitcase up to my room for me but as I only had a small wheelie one I politely declined the offer and headed over to my room.

      To get to the lifts I had to pass through the main lounge where the bar was located along with around a dozen or so comfy sofa style chairs and small wooden tables. In the middle of this was a glass display cabinet with different coloured glassware, which looked quite eye-catching. This room was great for networking and catching up with colleagues and we spent most evenings during the week in this area.

      I took the lift up to my room, which was located on the 4th floor. It was then that I realised just how big this place was! The hotel is shaped like what I would describe as a wave and my room was at the far end. It took me just over 5 minutes continuous walking to get to my room! The corridor however had huge windows through which there were some breath-taking views over the town and out to sea so I was entertained along the way! Over the course of the week I actually quite enjoyed the long walk down to breakfast and I got to see some quite spectacular sunrises over the ocean on my way down. I just had to remember to take all my things with me so I didn't have to trek all the way back to my room!

      When I eventually got there I used my swipe card to open my room. To be honest as I was walking to the room I was a little concerned at how far the room was from the reception desk and the reason for this was because generally I don't tend to have much luck with hotel swipe cards. I usually find that I can't get the card to work and I have to trundle back to reception to get it changed. I didn't really fancy walking all that way back to reception should there be something wrong with my card. Luckily the card worked first time and I didn't have any problems with this throughout my trip.


      **The room**

      When I opened the room my jaw almost dropped to the floor as the room was simply stunning! In keeping with the rest of the hotel the room was simplistic but modern and stylish at the same time. It maintained the cream and dark coloured wood scheme that I'd seen downstairs and was decorated tastefully with ornaments, paintings and vases. The room was furnished with a king-sized bed, with extra pillows, fitted double wardrobes, a small single seater sofa and a huge desk. There was also a large flat-screened tv on a cabinet in front of the bed with access to cable channels. The show-stealer though was the fact that I had my own private terrace with views over the town. Disappointingly I was at the back of the hotel so didn't get views of the ocean but this was still great.

      I had a little nose around the wardrobe and was most impressed with the fact that there was an ironing board and iron for me to use. I usually iron my clothes prior to packing and take a small travel iron with me to iron out any creases as I like to appear smart especially when I am travelling for work. The travel iron I have is good but requires some effort to remove creases, so having a proper iron was brilliant! In the wardrobe there was also a large safe, which was roomy enough to store a laptop in - this was ideal as I didn't want to be carrying around my laptop with me all day. The wardrobe itself was huge and came with an ample number of hangers to hang my clothes.

      The cupboard also contained extra linen and towels but also a gown and slippers (that had been individually packaged)! I've stayed in many hotels but never had that before!

      The room had an ensuite bathroom, which was equally as stunning with its dark blue tiles and white sink and bathtub. The sink was circular and was one of these modern designs that sit on top of the surface rather than be embedded in it. There were drawers beneath the sink for me to store any toiletries. Underneath the sink was a huge straw hamper in which to place any laundry. Incididentally there was a laundry service available though as would be expected this was very expensive. I found that during my stay the shower worked well. It had a good strength and a constant flow of hot water - something that is not always guaranteed!

      My only grumble with the bath was that at some point there must have been a couple of cracks found in it and they'd just been filled in with polyfilla type material. This was fine and the bath was perfectly functional but it did look like a bit of a botch job. For somewhere as high class as this I would have expected them to have replaced the bath tub or repaired it properly!

      As with most hotels there was a good range of free toiletries including shampoo and soap but also very handily a comb! I remember on one occasion when I was travelling with work I'd accidentally left my brush at home and had a minor panic. Luckily on that occasion I'd realised at the airport and bought one at the chemists but if all hotels had a comb on offer this wouldn't be an issue!

      The bed was comfortable and the hotel is very quiet so I slept well each night. The room was cleaned everyday and as a nice touch the person cleaning the room would leave a little card stating the weather forecast for the next day along with a few pieces of Godiva chocolate! As a bit of a chocoholic this won some brownie points from me!

      It is also worth noting that there is complimentary wireless access in all the rooms and throughout the hotel complex. There was a kettle in the room with a selection of teas and sugar, along with a couple of cups and a mini bar (though I didn't have anything from this). Room service was also available 24 hours a day, with a range of sandwiches and main meals available to order from the restaurant although I did not use this. Handily there was also a guide to the Barcelona area with advice on what to do and see.

      Overall I was seriously impressed with my room. It was so spacious that is was almost like having my own apartment (minus the kitchen). The long walk to my room was fine in the morning but was a bit of a mission if I just wanted to nip back to my room to get something or last thing at night when I was really tired after meetings and networking.

      **Breakfast and Meals**

      The hotel has several restaurants and breakfast for our group was served in the Verdana restaurant.

      Breakfast was served from 7am onwards. This was a self-service buffet style but with a great selection of cooked meats, eggs and toast as well as cereal, fruits and yoghurt. I particularly liked the olive bread, which was also available for lunch and happily munched my way through several pieces throughout the week.
      The restaurant faces the ocean and it was so lovely eating my breakfast watching the waves lap the shore in the distance.

      As we had booked the conference facilities we also had lunch and dinner provided. I found the food to be of a good quality with a nice variety of salads, pasta and hot dishes all clearly labelled. There was an excellent selection of deserts that were also portioned into quite small servings so that we could try several!
      There was a large grassy area outside the restaurant with tables and seats so it was possible to eat out in the fresh air, which we tended to do for lunch.


      **Conferencing facilities**

      Our meeting was actually held at the hotel, which also has excellent conferencing facilities. There are several meeting rooms, which allow parallel sessions to be held. Each meeting room is a different size but the largest one can hold several hundred people. The rooms come equipped with display screens and projection facilities and there appeared to be staff on hand to handle any technical problems that arose.

      Outside the meeting rooms there was plenty of space to network and ample refreshments were available at all times including coffee, tea, soft drinks, biscuits and fruit. I was really impressed with the facilities and at how smoothly everything ran. The only downside for me was that a couple of the meeting rooms overlooked the ocean and town, which proved to be a bit of a distraction when I should have been concentrating on the presentations!


      **Other facilities**

      The hotel boasts four outdoor pools, a state of the art fitness centre, an indoor pool, Finnish sauna, steam room and jaccuzi. There is also a spa with private treatment room. Unfortunately I was too busy with work to sample any of these L. The hotel is located some distance from the town centre and although it is possible to walk down the hill to the town and beach the hotel does offer a shuttle bus service.

      **Final Verdict**

      Overall I was incredibly impressed with this hotel. It was really luxurious and a real treat even though I was there with work and didn't get to sample all it had to offer. As you'd expect it is quite expensive to stay there with prices starting at around 120 euros a night - at this price I'm glad work was paying(!), but in my opinion this cost is totally justified. It didn't have the friendliness or character of some of the smaller run hotels I have stayed at but is still a fantastic place to stay if you're visiting the area.

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